Wednesday, May 02, 2018

The walls of our home won't be complete until one of them sports a pixelated portrait of Ellen Ripley from Konami's Aliens arcade game

I've had a bit of a "thing" for the Alien and Aliens films since I watched them for the first time as a teenager.

You'd think that would mean I've long had a similar thing for games inspired by those flicks, but it doesn't.

There have been a few exceptions, of course. Sega's Alien Syndrome and Alien Storm are two examples. Xenophobe is another.

None of the above compete with Konami's Aliens quarter-muncher from 1990, however. OK, so it takes some liberties with the source material. It's such a blast to play, though, that I don't have any problems overlooking those "creative differences."

It's also gorgeous, of course, with wonderfully detailed backdrops and sprites that evoke the 1986 movie that spawned it.

Apparently Atlanta-based artist Ashley Anderson agrees with that last tidbit. After all, he recently referenced the above-mentioned Aliens arcade game in the acrylic painting that can be seen below.

Before you go and think this is just some paint-by-numbers copycat, consider what Anderson said about it on Instagram:

"I limited my palette this time to traditional portrait colors, prussian blue (to mix with umber to make chromatic blacks), titanium white (for opacity), and zinc white (for warmth and translucence)."

As much as I like this piece, I like this next one, which Anderson calls "Ellen (Withering Heights)," even more.

For the curious: Anderson made "Ellen (Withering Heights)" using color pencil on toned paper.

I'm also quite fond of the similar "Sigourney Weaver," below, from 2010:

Anderson produced it using graphite on paper.

As for what prompted him to go down this particular path eight or so years ago, the artist shared the following explanation on Flickr:

"In keeping with my interest in pixellation's relationship with painting and its mechanics [and] traditions, I have begun collecting images of recognizable personalities as they are depicted in games and drawing them as one might create a portrait drawing from a photograph or a live sitter."

Want to see more of Anderson's pixelated depictions of the Aliens protagonist? Check out "Ellen (Ms X #1)" and "Ellen as April as Ellen."

Consider scouring his Instagram and Flickr photostreams, too. Both are filled with fascinating, game-inspired works of art.